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The 1954 French flap:

The index page for the 1954 French flap section of this website is here.

June 7, 1954, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône:

Reference for this case: 7-Jun-54-Marseille.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


Semaine du Monde and Nord-France magazines from October 1 to 7, 1954, reportedly published an article about flying saucers photographed three times, "by two correspondents of our newspaper, MM L. Alyons and J. Ates."

One of them was allegedly photographed in the sky of Marseille on June 7, 1954, it "lent itself complacently telephoto objective" while the magazine says that it "does not allow anything to infer about the nature of the phenomenon."





The Martians of the Martigues

THAT'S exactly ten years ago, no one had heard the two expressions which are now the most pronounced in all the languages ??of the world; atomic bomb and flying saucer. But whereas the atomic bomb turns out to be a terrible reality, the least we can say is that unanimity is not made on the existence of the saucers.

Europe, for a few years, seemed curiously untouched by the mysterious craft. Then, from 1950 on, testimonies began to multiply. In 1954, two French "Vampire" pilots began a vain pursuit over the Alpilles. From month to month, the skies of France, Italy, Germany, England, are populated (for some) by dazzling craft. Perhaps favored by our rainy summer, the craft have multiplied for ten days, while the monsoon brought some samples to the Indies.

To the point that a deputy from the Seine, Mr. de Léotard, has just sent a written question to the Minister of Air "Regarding recent testimonies which did not failto intrigue, if not to worry, public opinion"; and calling for a systematic observation of these phenomena "so that it can be established that these are hallucinations or if there is reason to take them into account from the point of view of security and national defense."

So France, in turn, will give the problem a national interest.

But already we are putting into the file the first photos taken in France. All three were taken by two correspondents of our newspaper, MM. L. Alyons and J. Ates. The fact that they were photographed in the sky of Marseille does not allow us to infer anything as to the nature of the phenomenon. The one on the left, taken on May 26, at 6:30 p.m. "enormous, remained motionless at low altitude while vibrating the tiles of the room" before suddenly rush away. Top left: on June 7, this craft lent itself complacently to the telephoto lens. Right: on August 22, this craft, also resembling like a brother to a saucer, hesitated for a long time, sometimes going down to 100 meters and sometimes going up vertically, to land on the hills of Marseilleveyre for the evening pastis. Did the indifference shown by the Marseille residents seem suspicious to the mysterious travelers?

More resolved, it seems, were those who in Dizes, near Auxerres, landed: "the time, said our private correspondent, to leave a trace on the road..."

How not to end on this poetic note? But in one of our next issues, we will expose to the French opinion the elements of the problem that will allow them to fear, smile or hope...

[Ref. kvt1:] KARL VEIT:


The caption only says "50 Object seen June 7, 1954, near Marseille".


Ref. UFOTO : 0079
07 JUN 1954
Location : Marseille (FRA) / Author : Atez

[Ref. web1] ON THE INTERNET:


The comment of the blog where this picture appeared indicates that it was published in "Semaine du Monde" for the week of October 1st to October 7, 1954 #99."

The article is cited as saying about this photograph:

"Thus France, in its turn, will give to the problem a national interest. But already we pour in the file the first photographs taken in France. All three were taken by two correspondents of our newspaper, Misters L. Alyons and J. Ates. The fact that they were photographed in the sky of Marseille does not allow to infer anything as for the nature of the phenomenon."

"That of the left, caught on last May 26, at 06:30 p.m., "enormous, remained fixed at low altitude while making the window of the room vibrate" before fleeing suddenly. In top on the left: June 7, this apparatus lenghtily showed itself to the teleobjective. On the right: August 22, this apparatus, resembling also like a brother to a flying saucer hesitated a long time, sometimes coming down as low as 100 meters and sometimes going up vertically, to land over the hills of Marseilleveyre for the evening pastis. Did the indifference expressed by the residents of Marseille seem suspect to the mysterious travelers?"


Date Approx UFO Nation Photo Film Media Duration Blue Book
06-07-1954 18.30 Fake OK Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône (France) FRA 13 PHOTO L. Alyon/J. Ates Karl L. Veit. Flying Saucers (Ray Palmer, July 1962, pp 55 and 72. Semaine du Monde, 99, October 1-7, 1954. Patrick Gross, June 7, 1954




The image and its references were reported by a Spanish ufologist on a ufology mailing list in 2008, as coming from Karl Veit in "Flying Saucers".

Karl L. Veit was a German ufologist with a tendency to believe just about anything such as the lies of US "contactee" George Adamski; this and the lack of information make it likely that the image is a hoax and/or maybe not from the indicated place and time.

I then found (April 17, 1954) on a web blog a long collection of articles coming from my own site, not credited and deprived of the links to my corresponding case files, but also among those, the transcription of the article indicated to be of "Semaine du Monde" and the image presented here, which I did not have in my collection.

The fact that all four "flying saucers pictures" come from the same people though at four different dates highly suggests that they are all hoaxed.


On May 26, 1954, in Marseille;
On August 9 in Marseille;
On August 27, 1954 in Marseille.

Note: Reading my "hoax" explanation, a French ufologist colleague commented on April 24, 2008, on a ufology discussion list I was member of that he too, thinks that this pictures and three others by the same people are probably fraudulent. He said that this one made him think a lot of photography face of a young woman whose mouth only would be visible, lips covered with lipstick, and that it seems to him to distinguish the beginning of the nose.


(These keywords are only to help queries and are not implying anything.)

Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, photograph, object, saucer, L. Alyons, J. Ates, Alyon


[----] indicates sources that are not yet available to me.

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 17, 2008 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 6, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.2 Patrick Gross January 17, 2010 Addition [jdn1].
1.3 Patrick Gross March 18, 2010 Addition "Note".
1.4 Patrick Gross June 13, 2019 Addition of the Summary.
1.5 Patrick Gross April 26, 2020 Addition [nfe1]. In the Summary, addition of "and Nord-France"
1.6 Patrick Gross October 23, 2021 Addition [jbo2].

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This page was last updated on October 23, 2021.